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Eamonn

Not the parent.

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When Her Who Must Be Obeyed and yours truly were first married the plan was to have 3 kids preferably all boys!! HWMBO didn't want any girls!!

We ended up with one! He waited for six years and until I had borrowed a lot of money!!

Sad thing was as happy as I was when he was born, I soon came to the realization that this person in my arms holding my finger didn't come with instructions!

Over the years we did what we thought was right.

We housed him ,fed him, helped to get him educated, I like to think we tried to teach him values, right from wrong and all that good stuff.

Most of all both HWMBO just love him.

At times we don't like some of the things he does or has done. Right now he has a growth on his chin which looks just silly to me. But it's his chin.

Strange to look back and think of the things I used to do.

Yes I remember holding his feet and blowing raspberries on the bottom of them! Today if that big smelly size 14 foot came near me I'd run a mile!

Bedtime was always a special time when I was home. We would say his prayers with the list of "God Bless" getting longer and longer at times just to squeeze another couple of minutes before the light went out. Sadly over time us saying his prayers became "Did you say your prayers and brush your teeth?" Till in time I didn't even ask. At some time or some stage it was up to him to say his prayers and make sure he had brushed his teeth.

When he was a Webelos Scout, I march the entire den to the shower house and tell them to get a shower and not to forget to brush their teeth.

Now with the Ship they know what time we get up at and what time I think the lights should go out.

I do know and have met the family of each and every Scout. The way the do things at their home is not the same way as I do things. If dinner time in their home is a slice of pizza and a can of Jolt in front of the TV. that's up to them! How they raise their kids is their business.

I see our Scouts for a couple of weekends a month and for a ninety minute meeting on a Monday.

While I like to think that maybe some of the stuff we do and maybe the example I set has some sort of an impact? I know at the end of the day they will return home to their families.

I'm not any sort of an expert in child rearing or parenting, I'm not the Scouts Doctor.

If the parent is happy feeding their kid a diet of Twinkies I can't change it.Of course when we go away he or she will need to bring their own supply of Twinkies!!

I can't and have never tried to make Scouts eat stuff that they say they don't like.

I'm happy to comply with the reasonable wishes of the parents.

Sometimes it seems to me that we forget that we are not the parents of the Scouts we serve.

Eamonn.

 

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Circle the choice that does not fit:

 

1. Keep myself physically fit

2. Make ethical choices over their lifetime

3. Help other people at all times

4. Eat only Twinkies if that makes you happy - you're not MY kid

 

I guess I see this as one of the primary purposes of Scouting...to expose kids to a proper, healthy, ethical, and moral lifestyle by teaching them to model proper behavior, regardless of what's expected of them at home. Granted, we all don't raise our kids the same way...but we were approved as leaders because it's perceived that we are good role models and teachers.

 

If all we are is a provider of entertainment or transportation, since everything else is their parents' responsibility, then count me out.

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Hmm, Scoutldr, I don't know about all that. In the several packs and troops that I've become familiar with, leaders were not chosen so much because they were determined to be good role models - more like, because they (we) were the ones who were dumb enough to volunteer.

 

Now please don't take that the wrong way! I've met some wonderful people through scouting and I do believe that the majority of us who are willing to pay our "hour a week" to be Scouters are, in fact, pretty decent folk. But I've also met more than a few people who are Scouters and who do not measure up as "good role models and teachers" in my book, that's for sure.

 

Also I do think we need to allow for a little difference in ages w/ regard to Eamonn's twinkie comment. No way I'm letting a cub scout eat that junk on any sort of regular basis at a pack or den event! Boy Scouts, I'm likely to want to see limits (set by the SM and PLC) on what sorts of junk the guys can "count" as "meals." A crew, now, we're talking about older youth. I'm still not thrilled to see them eating junk but I guess the role of a crew or ship's advisor is per force more hands off.

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I might not be their parent but when they are with me they are my kids. My responsibility. And I might not handle things the same as mom & dad. Why? I'm not their parent but they are still my responsibility.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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Lisa, point taken. I have to wonder in amazement at the units who have adults "apply" for the position of SM or ASM and then compete for the job in interviews with the CO and Committee. In our area, a highly transient military town, that just doesnt' happen. If you can fog a mirror and pass the background check, you're in.

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"we were approved as leaders because it's perceived that we are good role models and teachers."

I agree 100% with that statement.

The Twinkie was supposed to be in fun. (Maybe because I deal with people who do seem to eat really strange things in my real job.)

I do feel that when we try and impose our will on the Scouts we serve in matters that should be dealt with by the Scouts parents we cross the line.

I'm all for us teaching and providing the Scouts with good information.

I can inform a Scout that sitting indoors playing video games is not good for him or her. But what they do with the information is up to them.

I can inform them about eating healthy, but if at home all they are offered is what is offered. I have no choice but to accept that is the way it is. Taking a kid to camp and trying to make him or her what they don't eat at home is akin to teaching a pig to sing.

While maybe when dealing with young Cub Scouts, making sure they brush their teeth might be OK.

It might be OK to remind younger Boy Scouts. But when they reach 13 or older, I just expect them to brush their teeth. It should be something they do everyday and I think if by this age they haven't made this part of their daily routine. The fault lies with their parents not the BSA.

When we are away for a weekend I go to great lengths to ensure that we offer religious services for our Scouts. If one of the Roman Catholic Scouts tells me that he isn't going and in fact rarely attends mass. I feel I have done my bit by making the services available. If the family don't attend church, me frog marching the Scout to Mass is not right.

Just about all of our Scouts have cell phones and Ipods. They received them from their parents. As a Ship we have established a non-written agreement about the use of these things (Which by the way the Scouts seem to adhere to far better than the adults.) I have informed everyone that the Ship accepts no responsibility if these got lost or broken. Yes we have had some get lost. My feelings are that if the parents didn't want their kids to have these things? They wouldn't have bought them in the first place.

OJ, suffers from allergies. He has pills he can take. Since he was about 13 I have been happy for him to take them when he fells he needs them. I as his parent didn't want or need an adult to supervise this. Some Scouter's seem unhappy with this! But as he is my kid, I set the rules for my kid.

"1. Keep myself physically fit

2. Make ethical choices over their lifetime

3. Help other people at all times

4. Eat only Twinkies if that makes you happy - you're not MY kid"

Now circle the word that it seems most Scouter's seem to not understand?

Ea.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Eamonn,

 

it's been a while - how are you?

 

I have 84 girls on expedition tonight. Two leaders are having trouble with their students. The kids are being rude and oppositional. One of the groups got into camp way after dark and over a mile short of where they should be. I had suggested that the leader doesn't take the girls rudeness to heart. And that if they persisted in disrupting her various briefings that she lets them take over. And refuse to help until they have well and truly stuffed things up. Maybe that's what she did this afternoon?

 

Whether she handed over the reins or not the late arrival etc will provide lots of depth to earnest discussions about responsibility, respect etc. Scouting does that too. Natural consequences are better parents than I could ever hope to be. So I let lots of natural consequences happen.

 

And in a cruel and purely selfish fashion it would have been fun watching them tear themselves apart! In the morning they might listen make keenly! Most parents would not allow that to happen but most Scouters do this (to some extent).

 

Not being their parent might allow them to desist with tooth brushing but can also mean that the Scouts sleep on the side of a rocky hill rather than in a pleasant grassy spot. We are not being soft. But detachment and objectivity are more easily ours than for parents.

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"Natural consequences are better parents than I could ever hope to be"...that's classic, Oz (good to hear from "down under" again!). I, too am a firm believer in "you made your own bed"...within safe limits, of course. I tell parents that my only obligation as a scouter is to bring them back alive. If they become wet, bit, hungry, dirty, angry, cold or smelly, it's because of choices they made, not me. They have the knowledge and tools to prevent it.

 

And I don't disagree with Eamonn. By the time a scout is Venturer age, it's too late, and I won't try to teach the pig to sing. Eleven year olds are a bit different. They need to be shown what a properly balanced meal looks like. (which even the schools have given up on). If they choose not to eat, that's their choice, but alternatives will not be available, except for medical or religious reasons. I've also observed that as scouts gain age and experience, their menus mature as well, from Mac and Cheese, to steaks, salads and dutch oven cobblers.

 

Another thread once asked about good movies to show in group settings...how about "Supersize Me"?

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I'm all in favor of and insistant upon balanced meals. Hot dogs and hamburgers are limited to twice a year for patrol lunch menus. Pizza is limited to twice a year as a dinner item. We had a rash hot dogs and frozen pizza outings. I do remember however a boy that was in my troop as a youth. Brian would eat NOTHING except Campbell's chicken noodle soup. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, he never attended summer camp because he would have had to eat other food. This boy was a scout for over 4 years, made star I think, fun guy and good scout. I don't know how I, as SM, would handle this today.

LongHaul

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